White House press secretary Jen Psaki claimed she’s learned her lesson and will refrain from providing political analysis from the podium after being accused of violating the Hatch Act earlier this month.
Psaki’s comment came Tuesday after a reporter asked during her daily press briefing whether President Biden was “surprised” by how close the gubernatorial race is in Virginia between Democratic nominee Terry McAuliffe, the former Virginia governor, and Republican nominee Glenn Youngkin.
“I’ve learned my lesson,” Psaki responded. “I’m not going to do politics from here or political analysis. I can confirm that the president is going to Arlington later this evening and that that is my hometown as well. And, of course, the vice president [is campaigning there] as well.
“But beyond the scheduling details, I will leave political analysis to my friends over at the DNC,” she added.
Earlier this month the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a complaint accusing Psaki of violating the Hatch Act, which forbids officials from using their “official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with or affecting the result of an election,” prompting her to promise to choose her words more carefully.
CREW filed the complaint after Psaki responded to a question about the Virginia race by saying, “Look, I think the president, of course, wants former Governor McAuliffe to be the future governor of Virginia,” and that, “We’re going to do everything we can to help former Governor McAuliffe, and we believe in the agenda he’s representing.”
“While the president has publicly expressed his support for McAuliffe, we’ll leave it to the press and the campaign to provide commentary on the race. I take ethics very seriously and will choose my words more carefully moving forward,” Psaki said regarding the complaint.